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Hello All,

I just purchased a 1999 Forester S with the sohc 2.5 engine, and am planning on replacing/resealing the following items myself when I change the timing belt (I've changed the timing belt on my old 85 Accord, but this one looks much more accessible) so I feel competent enough for the undertaking:


cam shaft seals (2)

front crank shaft seal

water pump

oil pump + 0-ring


Am I missing anything?

I want to keep this car until it dies and will do the back seals when I have the clutch replaced.


Any recommendations on the type of seals?


I was wondering if the seal installer (or any other special) tools listed in the Factory Service Manual are necessary. These seals do not need to be pressed in so I thought I'd do them myself but don't know if the cost of the tools would outweigh the benefit of doing them myself.


What exactly does resealing the oil pump involve?

I would also appreciate any advice you might have on Permatex gasket sealants needed for the water and oil pump.

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When I replaced my timing belt and crank/cam seals a while ago, I improvised some makeshift tools to push the seals in. For the crank seal, i used a big ratchet socket of the right size (just short of the seal diameter) and for the cam seals, I used a PCV plastic end plug of something like that (or maybe it was the other way around).

I found by trial and error that what works best for me is to first engage the seals in by very lightly tapping them around the perimeter with a plastic hammer and then use the tool to finish the job (sharp rap just in the middle of the socket or plug). When I used the socket or plug first the seal had a tendency to get in skewed.

To remove them you insert a flat blade screwdriver between the lip and shaft taking care not to mar the shaft, push down on the handle to catch the upper edge of the seal from inside.

Stay tuned, others will give you more help.

Good luck!

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There is a water pump gasket that you will need. You might as well do the thermostat while you are at it, and get a thermostat gasket too. Depending on the mileage you may want to do radiator hoses and radiator cap too.


Make sure you examine the timing belt tensioner and idlers carefully, they have a tendancy to go bad.


When you remove the oil pump, remove the cover screws on the back of the oil pump one at a time and put medium loctite on the threads and reinstall.


I personally use only OEM parts. www.1stsubaruparts.com has about the best prices on OEM parts in the US.


As far as tools, you will need some way of holding the crank. Probably the easiest way is to either put it in 5th gear for manual, or block the flywheel if automatic. I am not sure about holding the cam sprocket for removal on the SOHC, I have a DOHC. On the DOHC there is a hex on the cam that you can use to hold the cam with a wrench with the valve covers removed. On the SOHC you may need a tool to hold the cam sprocket, I don't know for sure. You shouldn't need a seal installer, just tap the seals carefully into place with a hammer.


The best over the counter sealant for a subaru is probably permatex ultra-gray. I use ultra-black, it's cheaper, but not quite as good. Ultra-black has never let me down. I used permatex anerobic sealant for the oil pump, but either of the other two sealants should work fine. DON'T use any sealant on the water pump, just the metal gasket.


Good luck!!!


Thank you all for the help. Knowledge gained from this forum has really put a new subaru owner - me - at ease. This really is the best darn car forum that exists.:)

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I must say that Frag's advice to use a socket to drive in the seals is better than my advice to just use a hammer. Either way will work, but it's easier if you have a socket the correct size.

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